US signs $1.2 billion contract to make six NASAMS for Ukraine

The production of the systems will be carried out by Raytheon Technologies
The production of the systems will be carried out by Raytheon Technologies

The production of the systems will be carried out by Raytheon Technologies. The official signing of the contract will be announced on Dec. 6, news agency Reuters reported.

In a statement on its website, the Pentagon said the estimated completion date for the systems was around two years away, on Nov. 28, 2025.

The first NASAMS systems arrived in Ukraine on Nov. 7, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov previously announced. According to the Pentagon, two anti-aircraft missile systems of this type are already operating in Ukraine. The systems arrived about a month after Russia began a campaign of mass missile strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities.

Washington announced the fifth Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package – worth almost $3 billion, and which includes six additional NASAMS batteries and missiles – on Aug. 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day.

Read also: NASAMS, IRIS-T already operating, HAWK air defense system soon to join them, Air Force says

Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for Ukrainian Air Force Command, said that NASAMS air defense systems shoot down 100% of the Russian cruise missiles they target.

Ukraine urgently needs modern, effective air defense systems, as Russia is currently waging a campaign to destroy civilian infrastructure, including power generation and transmission facilities, heating plants, and water supply facilities. Ukraine has been requesting such systems from its allies since the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country, which started on Feb. 24.

Since Oct. 10, when the Russian campaign to destroy civilian infrastructure started in earnest, Ukraine has seen at least 50% of its energy system damaged in Russian mass missile attacks. The last such major attack came on Nov. 23, and Kyiv has warned that it expects the Russians to launch another big attack soon.

Read also: Russian attacks caused nearly $2 billion worth of damage to Ukrainian power grid

The Nov. 23 attack saw much of the country lose power and water supplies. The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was particularly badly affected, with large sections of the capital losing power and water supplies for several days.

The Kremlin’s campaign to destroy civilian infrastructure appears to have the aim of getting the Ukrainian population to force their government to open negotiations with the Kremlin on a ceasefire. Recent polling, however, shows that90% of the Ukrainian population is against talks with the Russians.

Russia, in contrast, badly needs a ceasefire in Ukraine to give a respite to its military, which has suffered a series of defeats and setbacks in Ukraine since early September. The most recent came on Nov. 11, when Ukrainian forces regained control of the city of Kherson – the only regional capital Russian invasion forces managed to capture in nine months of full-scale war in Ukraine.

The Russian military managed to withdraw much of its men and equipment from the right (western) bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast, and is now indiscriminately shelling the city it had held for several months.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin declared on Sept. 30 that Russia had annexed Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast, along with Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, though Russia was not in full military control of any of these Ukrainian territories, and has lost control of more ground since then.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine